Former Indian middle-order batter, Mohammed Kaif voiced his concerns with regards to Shubman Gill when India faced off against Pakistan in the former’s opening match in the Asia Cup 2023.
Shaheen Afridi was in full form as he managed to get the wickets of both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in quick fashion.
Kaif spoke to Star Sports where he said, “Gill showed no intent in that game (Pakistan). He had faced about 19-20 deliveries (32), and the only boundary he got was down the leg side. So he definitely needs to work on his intent.”
He emphasises the need for batters like Gill to take on the bowling and disrupt their rhythm allowing the batters to gain more momentum instead of playing passively and defensive strokes intending to survive.
Kaif further added, “When the ball swings at pace, you need to get into positions quickly, and that is something that Gill will need to do in the indoor nets.”
Gill was really struggling to take the game forward while the likes of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were also struggling in their respective ends. As momentum sided with the Pakistan side, Shaheen was able to dismiss the senior batters while Haris Rauf dealt with the others.
It was a truly dominant bowling display by the Pakistan side which really put the Indian batting in testing conditions.
With photos and videos being released of the Indian team’s indoor training session, Kaif believes that it would not be as useful as practising on central wickets.
He believes that Gill can utilize the coaching staff and make sure to strengthen his game against bowling similar to that of the Pakistan bowling attack. By this, he means using side-arm throwers to mimic that of Shaheen Afridi to the best extent possible so Gill can better prepare against it.
Kaif suggested, “The side-arm throwers generally try to shape the ball into the batters, and that is something that will certainly help Gill. If you see his dismissal (against Pakistan), he couldn’t bring his bat down in time and his stumps were rattled. So this left-arm side-arm thrower will definitely test his bat speed, and that’s something that will help him while facing Shaheen Afridi.”
Kaif’s idea is to basically emulate conditions that match what he faced against Pakistan a few days ago in order to prepare himself better to deal with the high-level bowling.
But Gill came back in decent touch as he managed to score 67 runs as he and Rohit Sharma chased down the target despite rain interventions. Gill will be looking to get back into his peak form with the World Cup approaching.